“It is unfair and discriminatory for blogs to exist that can promote neo-Nazi, fundamentalist Christian, neo-liberal and other points of view without giving balanced space and time to alternatives” said Cantlift at his press conference today.
“We will be giving notice than all blogs produced and published in New Zealand will have to apply for a blogcasting licence, which will be at modest cost, putting the blog under the BSA’s jurisdiction”. Cantlift noted that while industry self regulation was an option, “the widespread hatred, lies and distortion from the right wing blogosphere was cancerous and corrosive to our democracy”, the licensing regime would ensure that blogs could not express an opinion without giving a tolerant alternative point of view. “Clearly this will not apply to informative blogs” said Cantlift, although he refused to respond to enquiries about whether he knew of such blogs he did say “blogs simply publicising what is government policy and the implications of the great problems of our day, such as climate change, would be free to continue to do their good work. These are in stark contrast to those using insulting, even blasphemous language”.
When asked what blogs were clearly causing concern, Cantlift said it was inappropriate to single any one out, so he simply listed the following:
Whale Oil Beef Hooked
Oswald Bastable’s rantings
The Free Speech blog
he continued but pointed out that clearly there were too many subversive blogs. When asked about how so many were hosted offshore Cantlift replied "if Iran can do it, we can. We're not America, why should we follow America?".
Leader of the Supposition, Hone Quayside said that the Notional Party would “carefully consider” the proposal as it was a “real issue for all New Zealanders who simply are fairness loving kiwis”. Quayside said “it is important to be a constructive Supposition and to not oppose what is clearly the democratically elected government of the country – that would be treason. After all, there are sound arguments for restricting criticism of political parties which perform a vital function”. Quayside said Notional would support the legislation going to select committee, and said the government can rely on Notional support, as it was important that incorrect political lines were not allowed to “willy nilly” pollute New Zealand media. He said there needs to be some thought given as to how to accommodate the Maaori Party’s call for all blogs to be bilingual, saying that while not opposed “in principle”, there may need to be “language training and workshops” for licensed bloggers to make it easier for them to meet their Treaty of Waitangi obligations. The Maaori Party spokestalisman agreed with anything that would bring the blogosphere under local control.